I was so encouraged by reading Christmas Evans’ prayer commitments the other day that I thought I might try and write some of my own.
It’s not as easy as you might think because you want to include everything.
But here are a few I quickly came up with as I thought about myself, my life and specifically future pastoral ministry.
What would you add?
- I am not self-sufficient at all. I am needy. I will never not be dependent on someone outside myself to meet those needs. And I believe there is only person in the entire universe who can give me what I truly need, and that’s you Jesus.
- I was born broken. Spiritually dead actually, and dying physically as well. I can’t fix what is wrong in me spiritually and I can’t fix what is wrong with me physically either. But I am trusting that you Jesus can. You are the only who can save my body and soul, and you are going to save both my body and soul. I am completely forgiven because of your death on my behalf. Your righteousness has been credited to my account. God the Father sees you when He looks at me because He’s united me to you. I don’t have to impress anyone. I can hear others criticisms of me and learn from them, but I don’t need to be broken by them, because you are satisfied with me because of Jesus.
- Lord help me not to think too much of myself or too little. While I am not unique really, I am one of billions of people and while the world doesn’t need me, and God you certainly don’t need me, the fact is, you do love me personally, individually and you do have plans for me personally and individually and you can use me in a way that makes an eternal impact. From a certain perspective you might say my life doesn’t matter, but at the same time, from another perspective, my life does matter. Help me to believe both the right way and for the right reasons and at the same time.
- I can’t glorify myself better than you are going to glorify me. In fact attempting to glorify myself through my works is only going to bring me shame and harm others. I am trusting instead in you to glorify me through your grace and by your work.
- I don’t want to ruin my life by living for myself. This is a big temptation. Protect me from it. I was made to live for something much bigger than my own personal comfort. My life is more than just existing and then dying. I was created and chosen by you God to be part of His plan to form a community which will make Your Son look great on the earth and in the heavens forever.
- Jesus you bought me. I am not my own. I exist for you Jesus. That means I need to think about what you want Jesus. I don’t get to make up what you want for me. I need to go back to what you say and listen carefully and I am praying, that your Spirit would give me the power apply what you say to my life. Jesus you are my Lord and God forever!
- One thing I know makes you look beautiful Jesus is holiness. That’s your goal for me, you are going to make me holy. And so I am asking you Jesus to give me a heart that is completely devoted to what you want for me and for my life. Help me love what you love and hate what you hate. Don’t let me make excuses for sin. And, please Lord do not allow me to slip into hypocrisy. Instead increase my desire for you every year so that I will end my life more obedient and more devoted to you than I even am now. Watch over me. Don’t ever let me do anything foolish that will dishonor you or harm your church. Please help me shine like a light in this world, so that at the end of my life, people might see my good works and glorify my Father who is in heaven. I would rather be holy and not as talented than I would be talented and not as holy.
- Another thing I know that makes you happy Jesus is love. So, Jesus, please, teach me how to love you and to love your people well. Give me knowledge and understanding to know how best to love others the way you have loved me. I want to use my mind, my heart, my hands to show my love for you by loving others. Help me not just to love others for me, but to love others for you. And Lord, don’t let me stop loving when it gets difficult but to love others all the way to the cross.
- One more thing I know that’s a priority for you Jesus is your church. You love your church. It belongs to you. It may not look like much, but it’s the primary way you are working in the world right now. Don’t let me get sidetracked by lesser things and miss the main thing. Please take my time and energy and the gifts and talents I possess and use them for your glory and the building of your church in this world. You know the gifts you gave me. You know how I can be helpful. You know what I need to learn. Please Lord enable me to do more than I can imagine or expect, but, please Lord help it to happen in a way that makes it clear to everyone, including myself, that you are the One who did it.
- I believe your Word has power. The gospel has power. Not my ideas. Not my opinions. Not my creative sermons. Help me to make a priority out of ministering your Word. And, when I do minister your Word Lord, please help me to consistently say what you want me to say. And as I say it, please give me a heart that is full of love for you, and for the people I am speaking to. Get me out of the way Lord so they can just hear you. You are worthy of great preaching Lord, please enable me to speak your Word in a way that matches up with how important your Word really is. May people go away knowing deep down you love them, understanding what your Word means accurately, and having good ideas about how they can apply it to their lives. Change me and change the people listening Lord, to be more like you Jesus.
- Give me power to trust you for everything. Absolutely everything. Don’t let me lead from fear of man or fear of the future, but a proper fear of you Lord. Give me great faith. Make me a hopeful pastor. Lord help never to become cynical. Help me to believe that you can change people. Enable me as I grow older to grow more joyful. Don’t let me start thinking I deserve anything but your wrath God. The older I get, the more I am used, the more humble I should be. Lord, please make it so.
- I want to shout where you shout and whisper where you whisper. I want your agenda to be my agenda and I don’t want to act as if my initial agenda is always your agenda. Help me know when to be bold and to be courageous and to stand up and say what absolutely needs to be said without worrying about what people might think, and yet, also help me know when to be quiet and be patient and give people time.
- I need wisdom to lead your people well God. Help to take the lead when it’s difficult. I need to know what’s important and what is not important, when to be specific, when to just guide. Help me to allow others to lead me when that would be best for the church. Lord enable me to lead in such a way that I am really leading, but at the same time, I am totally serving. Help me to put the church’s interest above my own. Lord make me an equipper. I want to help those I am leading do better than I am doing. Help me to keep wanting that, especially when it happens and others see it happening! Lord, please don’t let me use your church to further my ‘kingdom’ but to serve your church and help your people seek your kingdom!